Dolphin Draft: The Brandon Weeden Plan


We are about a week away from the 2012 NFL Draft and the Miami Dolphins have four selections in the Top-75. By acquiring more, a future investment in a quarterback, will not hinder a present playoff run. So, again, I preach about trading down.

I understand that Miami needs to invest in a signal-caller because Matt Moore is unproven and David Garrard is 34 but by drafting Ryan Tannehill, eighth overall, we are unnecessarily hurting our chances in 2012.

When there is an almost-certain elite QB in the draft, like Andrew Luck, you pay whatever price is necessary. Robert Griffin III, has more question marks, but I believe he has the same chance to be a star as a bust, and you have to pay for a 50% chance at stardom. That is a high percentage in the NFL Draft QB guessing game but is Griffin worth three first-rounders and a second?

If the Washington Redskins, kept their draft choices, and selected four quaterbacks, how would the best of the four compare to Griffin?  This is how this trade should be measured.  Some of you may be saying that drafting first round quarterbacks in three successive years is ridiculous but, in essence, that is what the Redskins did.  Personally, I would take the four quarterbacks but it is close.

Then we get to the third best quaterback in this draft, Brandon Weeden.  That’s right.  If Weeden wouldn’t have played five seasons of minor league baseball, there would be discussion as to who is the second best quarterback in this draft.  Griffin had a miraculous senior year but Weeden had a comparable year, passed for more yards, and destroyed Griffin head to head as Oklahoma State defeated Baylor, 59-24.

How about Griffin’s unbelievable 72.4% completion rate in 2011? Weeden had a 72.3% rate with 162 more throws (40% of Griffin’s total 402 attempts). Yes, Weeden’s 2011 was remarkable but so was his 2010 campaign. In successive years, his quarterback rating was 154.1 and more recently, 159.8.

While some of Weeden’s success can be attributed to his receiver Justin Blackmon, some of Blackmon’s success should be attributed to Weeden. He is not as mobile as Luck, Griffin, or Ryan Tannehill, but he is very accurate and has a quick release, reminiscent of a Dolphin great. He has the physical size, 6’4″, 221, and the arm strength.

In the end, I give the edge to Griffin based on his vastly superior mobility, but give Weeden a 40% chance of becoming an NFL star. I understand that his value takes a hit because he is 28 years-old but this is also what makes him a bargain.

The fourth best quarterback in this draft is Tannehill. Ironically, he was the fourth best quarterback in his conference, behind Griffin, Weeden, and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones. Tannehill is expected to be a project in the NFL, but the truth is, he was a project at Texas A&M, going 12-7 as a starter. Weeden had a record of 23-3, during his last two years.

During his senior year, Tannehill threw 531 passes for 3744 yards and a completion rate of 61.6%, while Weeden tossed the ball 564 times for 4727 and an already mentioned, 72.3 completion percentage.

My fellow PhinPhanatic writer, Matt Patrick, discussed Weeden vs Tannehill in a previous post, Is Weeden Better Than Tannehill?

I say Tannehill has a 10% chance of becoming an NFL star.

Now, what is the strategy for drafting Weeden?

If the Cleveland Browns like Tannehill, we are sitting pretty. I would be ecstatic if the Browns drafted Tannehill, fourth overall. Even if they don’t draft him at this point, they can trade up from their second first round slot, 22nd overall. The Browns can have their cake and eat it too, with two picks in the Top 10.

Who is a likely trade partner? Miami, of course. Tannehill probably does not get by “Wish We Had Matt Moore Valley”, which includes Buffalo at 10, Kansas City at 11, Seattle at 12, and Arizona at 13. Cleveland would have to give up their second and third round picks and the Phins would nab Weeden late in the first round or in the early second.

If the Browns are not interested in Tannehill, then things are more complicated because Weeden at 22 is a strong possibility. The Philadelphia Eagles are very interested in defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and they may have to move in front of Carolina to grab him. The Eagles have two second round picks and would have to give one up to the Dolphins for the eighth slot. The Dolphins would then give up both their second rounders to move in front of the Browns in the latter half of the first round and draft Weeden. In this scenario, the Dolphins would end up with two first rounders and no second round selections.

Ultimately, If the Dolphins draft Weeden in the second round, he would be a tremendous bang for the Phins’ buck.

I am excited about a Phins quarterback prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft and his name is Brandon Weeden.

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